Binge drinking on college campuses has reached epidemic proportions. This popular college activity poses significant health risks for students, as well as major concerns for their parents and loved ones. Over the past decade, binge drinking on college campuses has contributed to many fatalities among healthy young people who think they are just having fun by joining in harmless college activities with their friends.
Binge Drinking on Campus
Binge drinking occurs when a person consumes large amounts of alcohol with the sole intention of becoming intoxicated. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, people who participate in binge drinking quickly raise their blood alcohol level to 0.08 within a short period of time, typically after four drinks. Ohio alcohol treatment centers commonly see young adults who are admitted for problems caused by binge drinking. Studies show that 40 percent of college students drink to get drunk with the intention to black out. They choose hard liquor with a high alcohol content that speeds up the intoxication process.
Although binge drinkers are not typically alcohol-dependent, they do experience many health problems including inflammation of internal organs like the pancreas, liver, stomach, spinal cord and brain. The long-term effects of binge drinking also include risky behaviors that increase the risks of car crashes, serious falls, drowning, domestic violence, sexual assault, criminal activities, and suicide. Many cases of binge drinking on college campuses result in death from consuming too much alcohol. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the effects of binge drinking has serious consequences for college students:
* Over 1,800 college students between the ages of 17 and 22 die each year from alcohol-related injuries such as car crashes, falls and drownings.
* Each year in the U.S., over 650,000 college students are engaged in physical fights or assaults with other students who have been drinking.
* Approximately 100,000 college students report experiences of sexual assault and rape while under the influence of alcohol, or while their date is under the influence of alcohol.
* One in four college students suffer academic consequences from drinking. Common problems include missed classes and exams, inability to focus in class, inability to study and complete assignments, falling grades, and lower overall grade averages.
According to national surveys on binge drinking, approximately 60 percent of college students admit to regular alcohol consumption while in college, and two out of three college students admit to engaging in binge drinking while on campus. Although most college students between the ages of 17 and 22 admit to drinking alcohol before college, most have not participated in binge drinking until they reach college campuses.
Why Do College Students Binge Drink?
Most students claim that binge drinking is encouraged by their college friends and associates as a way to engage in campus activities. Peer pressure has a significant impact on binge drinking among most college students. According to studies on college campuses, students engage in binge drinking for a variety of reasons.
Making New Friends
Freshman year on a college campus is often a time filled with fear, anxiety and loneliness for new students. Most freshmen who are away from home for the first time find it difficult to balance school work and social activities. Many students struggle to make new friends and fit into a group of their peers. Studies show that nearly 75 percent of freshmen drink alcohol and binge drink to meet new friends and feel accepted with their peer group. College freshmen who start binge drinking early are 50 percent more likely to require Columbus drug detox treatments by the time they graduate.
Attending Sports Events
To many college students, sports events and alcohol go hand in hand. Drinking before and after football, basketball, baseball and soccer games is a normal ritual. Campus tailgating and pregame parties that involve large amounts of hard liquor and beer are common on college campuses around the country. Most students who attend these parties drink for two to three hours before a game and continue to drink in excess after a game. Binge drinking is common at many after-game parties.
Unfortunately, binge drinking on college campuses is contributing to numerous student injuries and fatalities each year. Less than 50 percent of universities and colleges around the country enforce alcohol policies during campus activities and events. Some students even keep alcohol in their dorm rooms since college officials never check. Prevention of binge drinking and alcohol abuse must be enforced by universities and colleges to ensure healthy, well-educated students.